Kitchen Clarity Adventures in Kitchen and Bath Design

Kitchen islands – when a table works better

03.17.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

You don’t have to have an island in an open, convivial kitchen. In yesterday’s post, I wrote about long, long, islands, and how they can become a barrier, separating kitchen and living space in a large room. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the familiar kitchen table, wherever there’s room for one:

Design by Barbara Hill - a generous table


A table can separate living and cooking spaces too – though the division is a bit softer and more fluid than with an island, suggesting an in-between gathering space transitioning between the two:

Comfortable gathering space - photo Pierre Wester (Desire to Inspire)


There’s no stage for culinary performance in this layout – as I’ve said so many times, the table is an invitation to keep company and to join in.  I think it’s a positive result of our move towards kitchen/living rooms, that the table has made a comeback in many kitchens – though now it often has to be a chameleon, serving as both kitchen table and dining table, depending on the occasion.

I think in an ideal world, I’d like an island and a table – but if I can only keep one, the table wins for me.

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